Design Incubation Colloquium 9.1: Kent State University

Saturday, October 15, 2022
Time: 1:00pm–2:00pm
Online ZOOM event

Hosted by Jessica Barness, Associate Professor and Sanda Katila, Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University.

Presentations will be published on the Design Incubation YouTube Channel after October 7, 2022. Virtual Conference will be held online on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 1pm EST.

MODERATORS

Jessica Barness
Associate Professor 
Kent State University

Sanda Katila
Associate Professor
Kent State University

PRESENTATIONS

Subject, Material, Tool: A Strategy for Harnessing the Visual Communication Possibilities of Physical Materials
Anne Jordan
Assistant Professor
Rochester Institute of Technology

Gadzooks: An Embellished Connection Between Like-Minded Characters
Susan LaPorte
Professor
College for Creative Studies

Come Back Home: a Case Study of a Collaborative Arts-based Research Project
Liese Zahabi
Assistant Professor
University of New Hampshire

An Argument for Including the Banal in Design Histories
Gabi Schaffzin
Assistant Professor
York University

Prototyping Interactive and Exploratory Visualizations for Interdisciplinary Dialogues
Eugene Park
Associate Professor
University of Minnesota

Designing with Power: Drawing Parallels Between Design Pedagogy and Writing Workshops
Joshua Korenblat
Associate Professor
State University of New York at New Paltz

Voices Heard: Designing an Oral History Archive
Kimmie Parker
Assistant Professor
Oakland University

Say No to Stigma: Making Mental Health Visible in Rural Ugandan Primary Schools
Penina Laker
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St Louis

CFP: 2022 Design Incubation Communication Design Awards

Call for Nominations and Entries for the 2022 Design Incubation Educators Awards Competition.

Design Incubation announces a call for nominations and entries for the 2022 awards for communication design educators and graduate students in the areas of scholarship, teaching, service. The aim of the awards program is to discover and recognize new scholarship (creative work and publications), teaching, and service in our broad and varied discipline. We hope to expand the design record, promote excellence and share knowledge within the field. 

Nominations and Entries

We ask colleagues and mentors to identify outstanding creative work, publications, teaching, and service being created by design educators in the field communication design and to nominate these individuals for an award. Nominations will be accepted until December 31, 2022 

Entry Guidelines

Entries will be accepted until December 31, 2022. Nominations are not required to enter in this scholarly competition. Complete the online entry form (https://designincubation.com/design-incubation-awards-competition-entry-form/) with the following:

  • Title: Description of project and outcomes (not to exceed 500 words)
  • Supporting Materials: (limited to 5-page medium resolution pdf of artwork; web links to websites, videos, other online resources; published documents or visual documents)
  • Biography of applicant/s (150 words per applicant)
  • Curriculum vitae of applicant/s
  • $20 entry fee donation

2022 Jury

Steven McCarthy (Chair), University of Minnesota, 

John Bowers, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Maria Rogal, University of Florida, Florida

Kaleena Sales, Tennessee State University

R. Brian Stone, The National University of Singapore

Teal Triggs, Royal College of Art, London

Biographies

JOHN BOWERS

John Bowers is chair of the Visual Communication Design department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through making, writing, and teaching, he explores issues of individual and collective identity. His making practice repurposes newspapers from public to private record, and billboard paper into forms that address their underlying targeting strategies and have been sold through Printed Matter. He worked as a Senior Identity Designer at Landor (San Francisco) during the dot-com bubble. His professional work has been published in 365: AIGA, Communication Arts, ID, and Graphis. His writing includes “A Lesson from Spirograph,” (Design Observer), Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design: Understanding Form and Function, Second Edition (Wiley), and Visual Communication Design Teaching Strategies, which isposted on the AIGA Educators Community website. He has been a curriculum consultant and visiting designer in the US, Canada, and Sweden.

STEVEN MCCARTHY (CHAIR)

Steven McCarthy is Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He established the Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards and chaired the jury from 2016-2018. McCarthy’s teaching, scholarship, and contributions to the discipline include lectures, exhibitions, publications, and grant-funded research on a global scale. His creative work was featured in 125+ exhibitions and he is the author of The Designer As… Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating (BIS, Amsterdam). From 2014–2017, McCarthy served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

MARIA ROGAL

Maria Rogal is a Professor of Graphic Design and founding director of MFA in Design & Visual Communications at the University of Florida. She is the founder of D4D Lab, an award-winning initiative codesigning with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to support autonomy and self-determination. After over a decade working with partners in México, she cofounded Codesigning Equitable Futures to foster respectful collaborations among the university and local community in Gainesville, Florida. She continues to speak and write about social and codesign, recently presenting at Pivot 2020, and co-authored “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.

KALEENA SALES

Kaleena Sales is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Chair of the Department of Art & Design at Tennessee State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Nashville, TN. She is co-host of Design Observer’s The Design of Business | The Business of Design Minisodes podcast with Omari Souza. Her design writing and research centers on Black culture and aesthetics, recently co-authoring the book Extra-Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Non-Binary Field Guild for Graphic Designers, alongside Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Leslie Xia, and Valentina Vergara. Kaleena has a Master’s Degree from VCU Brandcenter, an MFA from Savannah College of Art & Design, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Design at NC State University. 

R. BRIAN STONE

 R. Brian Stone is an Associate Professor at The National University of Singapore. His award-winning work and teachings are centered in the areas of motion design, interaction design, information visualization, and user experience.

Professor Stone is the co-founder of the bi-annual MODE Summit, an international conference bringing together motion design educators to present research and discuss the discipline. In addition, he is the co-editor of a collection of essays entitled, The Theory and Practice of Motion Design: Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice published by Routledge.

Prior, to his tenure at NUS, Brian taught at the University of the Arts and The Ohio State University. Apple recognized Professor Stone’s teaching with the Apple Distinguished Educator award. He is also a recipient of the Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Order of Omega Faculty Recognition Award, and the National University of Singapore’s Annual Teaching Excellence Award.

Brian holds a MA and MFA in Design from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts.

TEAL TRIGGS

Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design and leads on the MPhil/PhD programme in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, critic and educator she has lectured and broadcast widely and her writings have appeared in numerous edited books and international design publications. Triggs’s research focuses on design pedagogy, criticism, self-publishing, and feminism. She is Associate Editor of Design Issues (MIT Press) and was founding Editor-in-Chief of Communication Design (Taylor & Francis/ico-D). Her recent books include: co-editor with Professor Leslie Atzmon of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson)and the children’s book The School of Art (Wide Eyed Editions) which was shortlisted for the ALCS 2016 Educational Writer’s Award. She is Fellow of the Design Research Society, International Society of Typographic Designers and the Royal Society of Arts.

Architecture and Design Students Envision the Post-COVID Built Environment

How designers can prepare for the next pandemic by looking at it as a human-centered design initiative

Denise Anderson
Assistant Professor
Michael Graves College, Kean University

Craig Konyk
Associate Professor
Michael Graves College, Kean University

Kylie Mena
Michael Graves College, Kean University

Varrianna Siryon
Michael Graves College, Kean University

Humanity will call upon architects and designers to respond to the resulting modified human behaviors and built environment in the post-COVID-19 world. These areas include the need for flexibility of public spaces and interior layouts, rethinking product designs, and strategies for informational campaigns and digital safety platforms using an integrated design approach.

In spring 2021, a team of interdisciplinary students and faculty at the Michael Graves College were awarded a grant to explore how designers can prepare for the next pandemic by looking at it as a human-centered design initiative. The objective was to utilize the expertise areas of Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design to research the pandemic’s effects on public spaces and propose design strategies to improve communities. For example, as part of a university-wide initiative on pandemic research, students proposed design solutions for the safe opening of Kean’s childcare center.

In the summer, as the world managed and changed due to the Delta variant and the anti- vaccine movement, further investigations into two areas hit hardest by the pandemic were explored: education and mental health. Extended research was conducted on special needs children and the increased anxiety that led to panic buying.

The presentation will examine the interdisciplinary design thinking process and solutions for the childcare center. It will present methodology soliciting support in undergraduate and graduate courses to identify pandemic-related problems and solutions. Furthermore, it will answer how design and architecture can help envision what communities need to manage and thrive in a post-COVID-19 environment.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 8.2: Annual CAA Conference on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Colloquium 8.1: Seton Hall University

Saturday, October 23, 2021
Time: 1:00pm–2:00pm
Online ZOOM event

Hosted by Christine Lhowe, Assistant Professor and Christine Krus, Professor of Art & Design, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University.

Presentations will be published on the Design Incubation YouTube Channel after October 5, 2021. Virtual Conference will be held online on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 1pm EST.

Moderators

Camila Afanador Llach
Assistant Professor
Florida Atlantic University

Christine Lhowe
Assistant Professor
Seton Hall University

Christine Krus
Professor
Seton Hall University

Presentations

Towards a Typographic Pluriverse
Laura Rossi García
Professional Lecturer
DePaul University

Social Media as Design-Writing Process Tool
Dori Griffin
Assistant Professor
University of Florida

Utterly Butterly Propaganda: An Analysis of Illustration as a Tool of Persuasion in Amul™ Ads
Kruttika Susarla
Graduate Student
Washington University in St. Louis

Mash Maker: Improvisation for Design Student Studios 
Ryan Slone
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Bree McMahon
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Redefining The Default: Decentering Pedagogical Perspective in the Typography Classroom
Mia Culbertson
Assistant Professor
Kutztown University

Interactive Storytelling for Packaging: Design Using Augmented Technology to Explore Personal and Social Identities
Linh Dao
Assistant Professor
California Polytechnic State University



Designing Your Research Agenda 1.2

Friday, October 29, 2021
4PM EST
Online ZOOM Event

Designing Your Research Agenda is an panel discussion and open forum for design scholars and researchers to discuss various aspects of their research agendas. We aim to open a dialog regarding multiple challenges discovering one’s design research inquiry. Design Incubation will also be discussing some of their ongoing work with the mission and focus of supporting design research. Designing Your Research Agenda is an ongoing design research event series.

Some of the questions we will discuss with panelists

  • How did you determine your research agenda (high level timeline of your career/trajectory)
  • How do you define research and why do you think it matters — for society, the field, yourself?
  • How do your department and institution define and support the work you do?
  • How would you describe/categorize your department and institution?
  • How do you position your research: design theory, design history, design practice, design research (traditional graphic design, speculative design, UX/UI, typography, AR, VR, creative computing, design solutions, etc.), design pedagogy, or something else?
  • What barriers (if any) exist at your institution or in the field for creating and disseminating your research?

Moderators

Jessica Barness and Heather Snyder Quinn

PANELISTS

Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
North Carolina State University and
Faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts

Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. She has taught graphic design at Southeastern Louisiana University and Typography at Loyola Marymount University. She is also a faculty in the low-residency MFA program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. In addition, Arceneaux is the principal at Blacvoice Design, a studio specializing in branding, electronic media, identity, illustration, print, and publication design for educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Arceneaux’s research focuses on discovering Black people omitted from the graphic design history canon. Recently, her research is focused on Black women who have made significant contributions to the graphic design profession. She is also interested in the visual representation of Black people in the media and popular culture, primarily through the lens of stereotypes.

Instagram: @blacvoice

Liat Berdugo 
Associate Professor of Art and Architecture
University of San Francisco

Liat Berdugo is an artist and writer whose work investigates embodiment, labor, and militarization in relation to capitalism, technological utopianism, and the Middle East. Her work has been exhibited and screened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), MoMA PS1 (New York), Transmediale (Berlin), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), and The Wrong Biennale (online), among others. Her writing appears in Rhizome, Temporary Art Review, Real Life, Places, and The Institute for Network Cultures, among others, and her latest book is The Weaponized Camera in the Middle East (Bloomsbury/I.B.Tauris,  2021). She is one half of the art collective, Anxious to Make, and is the co-founder of the Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly new media art series. Berdugo received an MFA from RISD and a BA from Brown University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco. Berdugo lives and works in Oakland, CA. More at www.liatberdugo.com

Instagram: @whatliat
Twitter: @whatliat

Caspar Lam 
Assistant Professor
Director of the BFA Communication Design Program
Parsons School of Design

Caspar Lam is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the BFA Communication Design Program at Parsons. He is also a partner at Synoptic Office, an award-winning design consultancy working globally with leading cultural, civic, and business organizations. His research and practice explore the systematic relationships among graphic design, data, language, and their influence on visual culture. Caspar holds an MFA from Yale and degrees in biology and design from the University of Texas at Austin. He formerly led design and digital strategy at Artstor, a Mellon-funded non-profit developing digital products related to metadata and publishing for institutions like Harvard and Cornell. Adobe, AIGA, and the ID Annual Design Review have recognized his work. He has been a visiting critic at the Hong Kong Design Institute and served as an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University ́s GSAPP. He sits on the board of directors of AIGA NY.

More at www.synopticoffice.com

Instagram: @synopticoffice

Extended Deadline: Design Incubation Awards 2021

Check it out! We’ve extended the deadlines.

Design Incubation Communication Design Awards 2021

Has it been a hectic year for you too? Phew. And we’re not sure how this autumn will go. But we do know that there has been some very fascinating work produced recently. Great published works, creative and experimental projects, innovative teaching methods, and important designed service initiatives.

We’ve decided we’re going to break some rules and extend our own deadlines. The annual international Design Incubation Communication Design Awards 2021 have extended their nomination and entry period to Wednesday, December 1, 2021. 

We hope you will enter your work, or nominate the work of a colleague or graduate student. There’s lots of really great stuff out there, and our friends want to see it! Help us shine the light on these and offer you some recognition.

What is the $20 entry fee for? There are lots of hidden costs when running an all-volunteer organization. Even though most of them are relatively small, they add up to more than you would think. However, if this is the only thing stopping you from entering your work, please don’t let it be. Submit anyway. It’s on us. We are not motivated by profits at Design Incubation, we are motivated by seeing you succeed 🙂

CFP: 2021 Design Incubation Communication Design Awards

Call for Nominations and Entries for the 2021 Design Incubation Communication Design Awards for Educators and Graduate Students

Design Incubation announces a call for nominations and entries for the 2021 awards for communication design educators and graduate students in the areas of scholarship, teaching, service. The aim of the awards program is to discover and recognize new scholarship (creative work and publications), teaching, and service in our broad and varied discipline. We hope to expand the design record, promote excellence and share knowledge within the field. 

Nominations

We ask colleagues and mentors to identify outstanding creative work, publications, teaching, and service being created by design educators and graduate students in our field and to nominate these individuals for an award. Nominations will be accepted until December 1, 2021. 

Entry Guidelines

Entries will be accepted from June 1–December 1, 2021. Complete the online entry form with the following:

Title: Description of project and outcomes (not to exceed 500 words)

Supporting Materials: (limited to 5-page medium resolution pdf of artwork; web links to websites, videos, other online resources; published documents or visual documents)

Biography of applicant/s (150 words per applicant)

Curriculum vitae of applicant/s

The 2021 Design Incubation Awards: Graduate Student Work 

If you are faculty advising graduate students please encourage students to enter the competition by nominating them for the awards.  The future of communication design education begins with the work of future faculty and researchers in the field of Communication Design. Recognition of graduate student work will be grouped and reviewed in the categories of scholarship, creative projects, service, and teaching. Graduate students currently enrolled in graduate design programs are invited to submit scholarship, creative projects, service projects, teaching innovations they completed during graduate study or up to one year after graduation. 

2021 Jury

Gail Anderson, School of Visual Arts, New York

John Bowers, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Lesley-Ann Noel, North Carolina State University, North Carolina

Maria Rogal, University of Florida, Florida

Lucille Tenazas, Parsons School of Design, New York

Teal Triggs (Chair), Royal College of Art, London

Biographies

Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson is an NYC-based designer, educator, and writer. She is Chair of BFA Design and BFA Advertising at the School of Visual Arts and the creative director at Visual Arts Press. Anderson has served as senior art director at Rolling Stone, creative director of design at SpotCo, and as a designer at The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Vintage Books. She has taught at SVA for thirty years and has coauthored 15 books on design, typography, and illustration with the fabulous Steven Heller. 

Anderson serves on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the US Postal Service and the advisory boards of Poster House and The One Club for Creativity. She is an AIGA Medalist and the 2018 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award for Design. Her work is represented in the Library of Congress’s permanent collections, the Milton Glaser Design Archives, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

John Bowers

John Bowers is chair of the Visual Communication Design department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through making, writing, and teaching, he explores issues of individual and collective identity. His making practice repurposes newspapers from public to private record, and billboard paper into forms that address their underlying targeting strategies and have been sold through Printed Matter. He worked as a Senior Identity Designer at Landor (San Francisco) during the dot-com bubble. His professional work has been published in 365: AIGA, Communication Arts, ID, and Graphis. His writing includes “A Lesson from Spirograph,” (Design Observer), Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design: Understanding Form and Function, Second Edition (Wiley), and Visual Communication Design Teaching Strategies, which isposted on the AIGA Educators Community website. He has been a curriculum consultant and visiting designer in the US, Canada, and Sweden.

Lesley-Ann Noel

Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel is a faculty member at the College of Design at North Carolina State University. She has a BA in Industrial Design from the Universidade Federal do Paraná, in Curitiba, Brazil, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago and a Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University. 

Lesley-Ann practices design through emancipatory, critical, and anti-hegemonic lenses,  focusing on equity, social justice, and the experiences of people who are often excluded from design research, primarily in the area of social innovation, education and public health. She also attempts to promote greater critical awareness among designers and design students by introducing critical theory concepts and vocabulary into the design studio e.g. through The Designer’s Critical Alphabet.

She is co-Chair of the Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group of the Design Research Society.

Maria Rogal

Maria Rogal is a Professor of Graphic Design and founding director of MFA in Design & Visual Communications at the University of Florida. She is the founder of D4D Lab, an award-winning initiative codesigning with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to support autonomy and self-determination. After over a decade working with partners in México, she cofounded Codesigning Equitable Futures to foster respectful collaborations among the university and local community in Gainesville, Florida. She continues to speak and write about social and codesign, recently presenting at Pivot 2020, and co-authored “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.

Lucille Tenazas

Lucille Tenazas is an educator and graphic designer based in New York and San Francisco. Her work is at the intersection of typography and linguistics, with design that reflects complex and poetic means of visual expression. She is the Henry Wolf Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design and was the Associate Dean in the School of Art, Media and Technology from 2013-2020. She taught at California College of the Arts (CCA) for 20 years, where she developed the MFA Design program with an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on form-giving, teaching and leadership.

Lucille was the national president of the AIGA from 1996-98 and was awarded the AIGA Medal in 2013 for her lifetime contribution to design practice and outstanding leadership in design education. She received the National Design Award for Communication Design by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in 2002. Originally from Manila, the Philippines, Lucille studied at CCA and received her MFA in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Teal Triggs (Chair)

Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design and leads on the MPhil/PhD programme in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, critic and educator she has lectured and broadcast widely and her writings have appeared in numerous edited books and international design publications. Triggs’s research focuses on design pedagogy, criticism, self-publishing, and feminism. She is Associate Editor of Design Issues (MIT Press) and was founding Editor-in-Chief of Communication Design (Taylor & Francis/ico-D). Her recent books include: co-editor with Professor Leslie Atzmon of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson)and the children’s book The School of Art (Wide Eyed Editions) which was shortlisted for the ALCS 2016 Educational Writer’s Award. She is Fellow of the Design Research Society, International Society of Typographic Designers and the Royal Society of Arts.

Designing Products of the Future Through Speculative Design

In design education, it is vital to bring future thinking into class projects

Mehrdad Sedaghat-Baghbani
Assistant Professor
Florida Atlantic University

Having a logical and possible image of the future keeps us safe from natural disasters and leads us to welcome new opportunities. Through speculative design, we can propose future scenarios that we prefer rather than one we just encounter. Benjamin Bratton writes that “Speculative design confronts an uncertain and ambiguous future and seeks to give it shape.” 

Design is a future-oriented discipline that goes beyond traditional realms of production and communication. It is expected that design plays a greater role of socio-technical intervention. Synchronizing design students and the educational system with these emerging demands has always been one of the main challenges of design educators. According to Dunne and Raby in their book Speculative Everything, designers should not just address issues of today, but also take a look into the future and ask, “How can we address future challenges with design?” In design education, it is vital to bring future thinking into class projects not only to introduce students to larger disciplinary conversations but also to provide them with critical tools to map a satisfying picture of the future as designer citizens. But it is important to understand that speculative design is not a prediction of the future. Rather, it creates a narrative of possible future realities that help us question the possible implications for all aspects of society. 

In the course of an exercise in problem-solving and macro approaches to projects in an undergraduate level visual design course at Florida Atlantic University, students were asked to speculate about a product of the future by analyzing a current advanced technology. By studying the path of emergence and the development of that technology to date, they were able to speculate about the direction of this progress over a period of twenty years. Being careful to avoid temptations for fantasy, they were able to envision a future that is plausible and probable, but not impossible. In a four-week long project, the outcomes were various future products for society that were presented as prototypes and posters by the students in the class. 

This presentation addresses the methods and processes we used to design the future as a Graphic Design class project, and it showcases several student projects in order to have a better understanding of the process.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 7.3: Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

Understanding Racial and Gender Bias in AI and How to Avoid It in Your Designs and Design Education

How biases are present in our design processes and design tools

Sarah Pagliaccio
Adjunct Professor
Lesley University
College of Art and Design
Brandeis University

We are using artificial intelligence-enabled software every day when we post to social media, take pictures, and ask our phones for directions. But these apps are not designed to serve everyone equally. Institutional bias is present in the tools that we hold in our hands and place on our kitchen counters. Recent research on and disclosures by the tech giants have revealed that voice and facial-recognition apps are optimized for white, male voices and faces, respectively. The data used to “teach” the algorithms learned from the historical training data that women belong in the home and black men belong in jail. All of this leads to bias where we least want to see it—in courtrooms, in classrooms1, in elections, in our social-media feeds, in our digital assistants, and in our design tools. (Meanwhile, women drive 75-95% of purchasing decisions in the US and we are rapidly becoming a majority-minority nation.)

In this presentation, we will review some of the most egregious recent examples of AI-driven racism and sexism and take a look at some less well-known examples, including the changes to Twitter’s algorithm that favored white faces over black faces; the MSN robot editor that confused the faces of mixed-race celebrities; AI assistants that screen job applications and immigration applications; voice-recognition apps in cars that don’t understand women drivers, voice-activated apps that assist disabled veterans; and predictive-text software that could exacerbate hate speech. We will explore how these biases are present in our design processes and design tools, specifically those that use speech, image, and name generators.

Finally, we will review options for confronting these biases—like taking the implicit bias test, knowing the flaws in underlying data sources we rely on, expanding our user research to include diverse audiences, and using text sentiment analysis to remove our own bias from interview scripts, among other options—so we do not perpetuate gender and racial bias in our design solutions and design education.

Notes and References

  1. A group of 68 white, elementary-school teachers listened to and rated a group of white and black students for personality, quality of response to a prompt, and current and future academic abilities. The white teachers uniformly rated white students higher than black students; black, English-speaking students; and students with low physical attractiveness. The researchers concluded that some of these children’s academic failures might be based on their race and dialect rather than their actual performance. (Indicating that no one is immune from cultural biases, the duo who performed this research labeled the nonblack, English dialect that the white students spoke Standard English rather than White English.) See DeMeis, Debra Kanai, and Ralph R. Turner, “Effects of Students’ Race, Physical Attractiveness, and Dialect on Teachers’ Evaluations.” Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 1978.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 7.3: Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

Connecting Scholars, Building Community, Design Research Network(ing) | Design Incubation Affiliated Society Meeting

This open forum will have design scholars and researchers discuss various research topics, offer their ideas, discuss opportunities for contributors/participants/collaborators, and open dialog regarding multiple challenges within the design research field.

Friday, February 12, 2021
12:30 PM Eastern Time (the US and Canada)
Online ZOOM Event

This is the Affiliated Society meeting of the 109th CAA Annual Conference. The meeting is open to non-conference attendees as well. Please register in advance for this event.

Overview:

Please join us at The College Art Association (CAA) Design Incubation Affiliated Society meeting | Connecting Scholars, Building Community, Design Research Network(ing) virtually on Friday, February 12, from 12:30-1:30 pm (EST).

Design Incubation is a volunteer academic organization whose focus and mission are facilitating research and scholarship in design. We aim to foster discussion and collaboration among academics and industry professionals. We are a resource for those working and studying within the field.

This open forum will have design scholars and researchers discuss various research topics, offer their ideas, discuss opportunities for contributors/participants/collaborators, and open dialog regarding multiple challenges within the design research field. Design Incubation will also be discussing some of their ongoing work with the mission/focus of supporting design research.

Some of the questions we will discuss with panelists include:

  • How did you determine your research agenda?
  • How do your dept and institution define and support the work you do?
  • How would you describe/categorize your dept and institution?
  • If you were going to position your research within a category, would you say your work addresses: design theory,
    design history, design practice, design research (traditional graphic design, speculative design, UXUI, typography, AR, VR, creative computing, design solutions, etc.), design pedagogy, something else?

MODERATOR:

Dan Wong
Associate Professor, New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Co-founder/Executive Director, Design Incubation

Dan’s research considers the forms and methodologies of communication design research and innovates through the practice of communication design.

PANELISTS:

Heather­­­ Snyder Quinn
Assistant Professor, DePaul University’s School of Design
Director of Design Futures, Design Incubation

Heather’s research uses design fiction and speculative design to question the ethics of emerging technologies, challenge technocratic power, and imagine possible futures.

Jessica Barness
Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University
Director of Research Initiatives, Design Incubation

Jessica’s research focuses on social media, publication practices, and the design of scholarship, and how these relate to issues of power and representation.

Ayako Takase
Assistant Professor of Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design
Director of Master Program
Co-Founder, Observatory Design

Ayako’s design research focuses on evolving relationships between people, objects, and technology in the context of work.

Penina Acayo Laker
Assistant Professor, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University St. Louis
Co-Principal Investigator, Mobility for All by All

Penina’s research centers around topics that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems.


Registration required. Please use your institutional email to register.